Disaster risk management to reduce food insecurity
Title: Disaster risk management to reduce food insecurity in Chad
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Lead executing agency: Ministère du Plan et de la Coopération Internationale
Overall term: 2013 to 2016
Chad forms part of the Sahel and thus lies in one of the regions most at risk of drought worldwide. Approximately 1.6 million people were affected by the most recent catastrophic drought, in June 2012, while the prolonged arid spell in 2009 had an impact on 2.4 million people. Climate change means that existing risks are becoming more serious. There is a tendency for more rain to fall in shorter, sporadic bursts. As a result, less rainfall is seeping into the groundwater, but levels of surface runoff are increasing, leading to flooding and erosion. Given these circumstances, drought and heat could reduce the growing season by 20 per cent.
With population growth of 3.6 per cent, the pressure on natural resources is constantly increasing. In the east of Chad in particular, the influx of returnees from Libya and refugees from Sudan is only adding to this pressure. Increasingly, natural resources are being degraded. Some 80 per cent of the population of eastern Chad already relies on subsistence farming on small plots of land. Besides yielding only small harvests, this form of agriculture is also extremely climate sensitive. Many people are unfamiliar with precautions and measures that help to safeguard agricultural areas, such as curbing the level of surface water runoff and therefore controlling erosion. For other smallholders, a lack of money means that such steps are implemented either only very rarely or not at all.
The population is more resilient to future disasters and fluctuations in climate.
The project combines the physical rehabilitation of areas affected by flooding in 2012 with disaster prevention and income-generating measures. The project is broken down into five interrelated fields of activity:
- Risk management: A risk map is being drawn up for the region as part of a cooperative and participatory process. This will then be used to assess vulnerability to these climate impacts and the threats they pose, and therefore determine vulnerability to the risk of disaster (vulnerability analysis).
- Disaster risk management: The project develops the capacity of local and regional structures to manage disasters that have already occurred.
- Technical adaptation measures: In order to combat the loss of arable land and the degradation of the soil, erosion protection measures are planned and then implemented with the aid of the local population.
- Professionalisation of smallholder farmers: Smallholders are trained in innovative production, processing and marketing techniques, which gives them the skills needed to increase their production and income levels.
- Strengthening grassroots organisations: The project is improving the organisational capacity of producers and civil-society organisations.
The project is being carried out in the region of Sila, in the east of Chad, and is cofinanced by the EU.
Developing the capacities of stakeholders is a key process that forms part of the project and which the stakeholders themselves must support. In addition, they must take responsibility for their own actions and be actively committed to achieving the objectives. The structural impact of the project lies in strengthening institutions as well as in improving both the stakeholders’ level of expertise and degree of interaction between them.